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South Sudan peace monitoring chief rejects calls to step down

July 15, 2017 (JUBA)- The head of the South Sudan peace implementation monitoring body, Festus Mogae this week has rejected calls to resign and declare the failure of the IGAD-brokered peace agreement.

Botswana’s former president Festus Mogae (Photo File AFP)

The Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) denied he has failed to perform his duties. He told reporters on Thursday that a section of South Sudanese are unhappy with him, saying he failed his duties and called for resignation.

“Many South Sudanese including the SPLM/IO led by Dr Riek Machar have called for my resignation and they said I should resign and declare the peace agreement dead and that IGAD should initiate a political process outside South Sudan,” said Mogae.

“When that time comes I will make that judgment then I will give up I think that there is still hope,” he stressed

The former Botswana president said he still has a mission to stabilising the situation, pointing out that he would instead exert much efforts to improve on his performance so that he does not fail.

“I will do my best if I think I will fail if it’s that failure that will make me resign, being discredited, so be it. I will say I have done my best, I failed and then I will say it was worth time peace and saving lives is worth to risk your reputation,” said Mogae.

JMEC chairman is accused of failing to condemn the government violations of the ceasefire, attacks and war crimes on civilians committed by soldiers. The armed opposition groups say his stance is not neutral and accused him of colluding with the government.

Mogae said revitalization forum for the peace agreement would be the only hope to re-energize the implementation of the agreement and pointed out that the revitalization of the peace agreement was not a renegotiation of the peace agreement.

“The Peace agreement is still alive but has been wounded, the Revitalization Forum formed by the IGAD heads of states on 12th June 2017 in Addis Ababa is set to get the agreement back on track,” he said.

He confirmed that the government had rejected a proposal to renegotiate the peace agreement, claiming that it was already being implemented and pledged to fast track implementation of areas still lagging behind in the schedule.

“The government has said that is not ready to renegotiate the agreement, the mandate of the revitalization is not about renegotiation it’s about a revitalization of the implementation of the peace agreement,” he stressed.